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July 31, 2009

You say RodEEO I say RoDAYO

Last night, my last night in LA, we went to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Loved it. So fun, wish we could have seen more of that area. But, I feel lucky to have seen so much for a work trip. I had a wonderful, gracious host and it was a blast, work and all.

I bought more Hollywood souvenirs for my husband and kids yesterday, than should be allowed be law. Hollywood Star Mug Shot playing cards, half a dozen t-shirts, fake California Drivers Licenses with Zac Efron, Nick Jonas and (of course) Brad Pitt, pens with water inside that you tilt and things move, shot glasses, one of those movie scene clapboard thingies for when the kids make home movies. It was obscene, the amount of junk I bought. It’s okay. The kids will love every bit.

Of all the California complexities, the one thing I still don’t get though is this (feel free to educate me if you are from this area.)

Why Rodeo Drive is pronounced RoDAYo Drive.

I just don’t get it.

I thought about it, and I finally came up with an answer to satisfy myself.

The late Aaron Spelling came to Hollywood I think in the 40’s or so, from Texas, I believe he was from the Dallas/Fort Worth area originally.

Maybe Mr. Spelling showed up, got off the plane, and said to his first the first person he met ‘How do I get to RodAYo drive’ in a southern accent and someone thought he looked like a future gazillionaire and it stuck and everyone copied him?

Rodeos are huge in Houston, especially in February/March. Almost like a local holiday. We have an entire Friday where everyone in town wears their Rodeo garb to work, the kids wear it to school, all of it because of the start of RoDayO season.

But if I told someone I was going to the Houston RoDayO to see Kenny Chesney they would think I had lost my mind. Or that I had already been to the Rodeo and had one beer too many,

I really considered asking some of the locals in Beverly Hills where RoDEEO drive is, just to confuse them, and then have the opportunity to correct them that it’s RoDEEO, not RoDAYo, thank you! As if my southern accent doesn’t throw people off enough already in California.

But, everyone had been so nice in all of Southern California throughout my whole trip. Except that stupid bee in Malibu.

I decided to use my southern manners, and just let them keep saying it wrong and not educate anyone.

But, if you are from California and ever come to Texas, remember: it’s RoDEEo, and do NOT walk out in front of traffic, ever. I don’t care if there is a crosswalk painted there or not.
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jdemott on August 01, 2009 said...

An interesting enough question. Surely there's a good answer, I thought. So, I did some quick online research. A simple explanation was easy to find. The word is of Spanish origin. California uses many Spanish words in its place names. In this case, the original Spanish pronunciation stuck. In fact, if you look up the word a Merriam Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rodeo, you can find both pronunciations listed in the good ol' English dictionary, though the Texan form is the first shown.

Shannon on August 02, 2009 said...

I knew it was Spanish but I could not hear it in my head like that I think in Spanish. Now that you've said that though it does make sense. In fact now that you've said that, their version makes sense, lol. Oops.

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